President Nelson Farewell Party
The faculty of Lincoln University hosted a farewell party for President Ivory V. Nelson on the 14th of December 2011. The venue of the party was the Ivory V. Nelson Center for the Sciences and was attended by faculty and staff of the division of Academic Affairs. The party provided the appropriate opportunity for faculty to reflect on the innumerable and outstanding achievements of President Nelson in his twelve and half years of service at Lincoln University.
Dr. Anna Hull, Associate Professor of Biology was the Master of Ceremonies. She spoke on the justification for the occasion, that the faculty have come together to honor Dr. Nelson for all the good work he has done since his assumption of duty as the 12th President of Lincoln University in 1999. She thanked the President and his wife, Dr. Patricia Nelson for their friendship, openness and mentorship of the faculty and staff.
Then, Dr. Swinton spoke of the unique qualities of Dr. Nelson that made him succeed in his academic as well as administrative roles. He further spoke of Dr. Nelson's unusual ability to see the whole and not just sections of the problem. Regarding Lincoln University, he reminded the faculty that the 1990s was a difficult time for Lincoln University in that the infrastructure was collapsing, the administrative structure was challenged and strained, the State of Pennsylvania was attempting to take over the institution, the Barnes Foundation was under attack, there were power outages and parents were taking their students home because of the collapse in infrastructure and lack of resources at Lincoln University. Dr. Swinton recalled that when he assumed duty in 2002, Wright hall like other academic buildings was falling apart, paints were peeling from the walls, roofs were leaking, basements were moldy and musty, and the Wright hall basement harbored radioactive materials and chemicals that were 40 or more years old. During the tenure of Dr. Nelson, he confronted the problems head-on, resulting in the renovation and the construction of academic and other buildings at Lincoln University.
The new buildings and projects constructed under Dr. Nelson include the following:
1. Ivory V. Nelson Center for the Sciences.
2. Wellness Center.
3. International Cultural Center.
4. Apartment style student housing.
5. Stadium and sporting complex.
The renovated buildings include the following:
1. Ware Center.
2. Wright Hall
3. University Hall
4. Grim Hall.
5. Student Union Building.
6. Langston Hughes Memorial Library.
7. Lincoln Hall.
8. Vail Hall.
9. Lucy Laney Hall
10. Hansberry Hall
11. Manuel Rivero Hall
Since the arrival of Dr. Nelson, every inch of the soil at Lincoln University has been touched, every grass has been uprooted and replanted, every tree has been trimmed, removed or replaced, and the entire campus has been witnessed a face-lift. We now have a brand new pedestrian campus. It will be difficult for anyone to top this performance.
Other speakers including, Dr. Karen Baskerville (Biology), Dr. Alvin Amos (Music and Performing Arts), Prof. Jeffrey Chapp (Music and Performing Arts), Dr. Kaukab Siddique (English), Dr. Judith Thomas (Dean, Social Sciences and Behavioral Arts), Prof. Denise Gaither Hardy (Psychology), Dr. Susan Safford (Biology), Dr. Moses Haimbodi (Mathematics and Computer Science), Dr. Kwame Dadson (Business and Information Technology), Prof. Ali Barimani (Computer Science), Dr. Carl Walton (Student Affairs) and Dr. Renford Brevett (Institutional Research) praised President Nelson for restoring and rebuilding Lincoln's infrastructure to ensure that the future of the university was assured. They urged him to stay in touch with Lincoln University even after his retirement because his counsel was still needed.
After the speeches and remarks, Dr. John Chikwem, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics presented to President Nelson various memorabilia from the faculty. President Nelson was also informed that the faculty had ordered a Boston rocker with the inscription: "Thanks for rebuilding Lincoln's future – Your faculty"
President Nelson thanked the faculty for their kind words and reminded them that they should always strive to make Lincoln University better than they found it. If the faculty, staff and administrators would abide by this doctrine, the future of the institution would never be compromised and Lincoln would never ever find itself in the same place as in 1999.
After the remarks by President Nelson, a farewell cake was cut and shared; food was served and faculty and staff shook hands with President Nelson and wished him and Dr. Patricia Nelson well.